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surviving under the rubble. there's still survivors under that, we know that, but how long can you survive at 28 degrees, 35 degrees? >> we'll continue this conversation at the same time tomorrow, mr. myers. i promise you. stay with cnn for the latest on what's happening tonight in japan. coming up tonight at 10:00 eastern, i'll be watching, hope you will as well. anderson cooper hosting a special edition of "a c360" live from japan. now to my colleague wolf blitzer in paris traveling with secretary of state hillary clinton leading up to "the situation room." wolf? prook, thanks very much. happening now, we're following breaking news. a new reactor breakdown adds to fears of a nuclear disaster in japan. u.n. experts insist there's no sign of a meltdown right now, but over the past few hours we've seen another explosion, a radiation spike and almost constant danger. it's 6:00 a.m. tuesday morning in japan, and rescuers are
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racing against time. we're with the crews searching for survivors and bodies. over three days after that monster quake and tsunami, and the other major story we're following right now. libyan rebels, they are retreating. they are being defeated in some key towns. we're keeping the spotlight on moammar gadhafi's brutal fight to hold on to power. i'm in pair its with secretary of state hillary clinton as she holds critical meetings on the libya crisis. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." an incredible story we're following at cnn international. today, indeed, all of this week, asha is joining us, and i can't tell you how upset all the people are all over the world
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about the devastation in japan. such a heartbreaking story. we'll share all the details we have with our viewers and around the world over the next two hours. >> absolutely, wolf. this is a story that has the world gripped at the edge of their seat as they watch this story very quickly unfold. so much the people in japan are dealing with search-and-rescue teams, dealing with so many different issues. this was a situation that occurred almost in the blink of an eye for those that were at the heart of it, and you see the pictures as they come into us here at cnn of the devastation, of the grief, of the destruction, and we are closely following it, as you say, wolf. over the next two hours we'll be bringing all the latest to our viewers because it's been almost four days after the big one hit. every missing person found alive in the wreckage is a small victory. after almost 2,000 bodies have been found so far. our correspondents are across the disaster area kofrlg the urgent rescue operation as well as the unfolding nuclear
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emergency. a report now from sendai. a breakdown of where you are and what you've been seeing. >> reporter: as you say, we are in sendai which is in the east of japan. spending time a little bit further north and that's where the real devastation we have seen, and houses, neighborhoods, suburbs completely, completely destroyed. we spent time with a military team that went from house to house trying to see if there were any survivors, but it became apparent very quickly that they were there to retrieve the bodies. house after house, they were finding people, and these were the elderly, isha. people not able to get out in town. from the moment that the quake struck the residents of ishinnomaki had less han half an hour to get to higher ground and it turns out so many of the elderly weren't able to get out of their homes in time.
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>> anna, talk to me about the challenges, those involved sear search-and-rescue operation that they are dealing with. >> reporter: a vast challenge. such a vast area. talking about so much coastline. this collected everything in its path for five to eight kilometers, and this wall of water, some ten meters, as i say, just collapsed absolutely everything. if people were standing in their houses on the ground floor, they would have been collected and washed away. we spoke to one man who clung to his roof for dear life. he watched as the wave came straight through, and he was just praying that it wouldn't collect him. he says he spent the night on his roof and as he watched his neighbors and other people just disappear, so this is a story that we're hearing over and over again as there's survival
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stories. they are the ones that everyone is clinging on to hope, but as the helicopters buzz over, and they are doing that constantly. we know that they are finding more and more pockets of devastation, and that is clear that we'll find the bodies. officials here are saying the death toll is expected to rise, on to 10,000, a harsh reality. i guess we'll discover in the coming days. >> anna koren joining us from sendai japan. thank you. the death toll right now is around 1,800 with expectations that they find people alive and that that will rise. >> they have to be found and have to be found very, very quickly. it's already been three days plus since this earthquake and
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tsunami struck. we're going to be checking in with all of our correspondent, not only anna koren, but anderson cooper is standing by, gary tuckman, brian todd. i want to go to our own dr. sgaupta, our own medical correspondent because he's been checking in with people at the evacuation centers. so many people now are homeless pause of what's going on. >> a lot of people have been told to tee vac ate about the concerns of radiation and add on top of that so many peoples being destroyed because of the exand tsunami. this is a makeshift ref cue camp over the last few days. this is something people in japan know schools are built at higher levels and the building codes are often more stricter. they also become an immediate
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place for refugees in boards like this. hundreds of people, around 700 people in this area. more people in other parts of the school. was becoming one of the largest ref joe areas outside. people displaced because of the mandatory evacuation, onigawa, 150 kilometers from here and fukushima 100 kilometers and even people had made their way to the refugee area. that's sort of the consequence of all the different activities and tragedies over the last several days. >> the top of everything else, sanjay will be following that. right now there's keep, keep concern about what's going on.
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jeanne meserve has the exact information about what's going on. it's been very confusing and at times, jeanne, we've been getting conflicting information. the impact could be enormous >> reporter: situation in japan seems to be going from bad to worse. three reactors are in serious trouble and japanese officials are not surprised of hearing of a meltdown. reactor number one was already in crisis and a cooling crisis at reactor number two. japanese officials are trying to inject sea water in all three of them. when the pump injecting water into reactor two, ran out of fuel and stopped. >> translator: the fuel of the pump ran out, and it has taken more time than it originally anticipated, and at one point in time the water level did start to fall and the fuel rods were
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exposed above the water. this situation did continue for a while. >> now that problem was fixed. they started to injennings sea water again but another problem arose. a involve used to vent heed and steam didn't open. causing the water to evaporate and they were exposed a second time. the company that owns the van says they could be open and able to locate the valves. they need to try to keep the pressure down in the containment vessel. if there -- today radioactive levels around the plant went up for a time but then did go back. about 200,000 people have been evacuated from the area, wolf. >> are they asking for any u.s. help now, jeanne? >> yes, they are.
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the u.s. from the beginning has offered to do whatever was needed. finally a formal request, both to the nuclear regulatory commission here in the u.s. and the iaea and the nrc already had two experts on the ground and are building up a larger team to go over there. the japanese have asked for some equipment to help them deal with this cooling situation at the fukushima plant. >> all right. jeanne, stay in close touch with you. thanks very much. here's a question a lot of us are asking right now is could this kind of disaster actually help in the united states. we'll check in on that possible and much more of the fallout from the snuk problem. that's coming up and other sore stories we're following as well. >> our brian todd is in the emergency crew in japan and as you pointed out, time may be running out to find survivors.
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with xerox, you're ready for real business. the unlikely birthplace of a fundamental idea. it's where ethel percy andrus found a retired teacher living because she could afford nothing else. ethel couldn't ignore the clear need for health and financial security. and it inspired her to found aarp. for over 50 years, we've continued that work, to help all americans pursue their best life. discover more of what we do, for every generation at aarp.org. we're following breaking news out of japan right now. the earthquake, the tsunami, nuclear crisis unfolding right now. jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." jack? >> wolf, inspectors from all
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around the world trying to find out how dangerous the nuclear situation is. can't be good. hydrogen explosions, fuel rods exposed and reactors overheating and radioactive vapor being released into the atmosphere. the director of the international atomic energy agency said today that the situation at the fukushima daiichi power plants is unlikely to become another chernobyl, really? why is my bs detector on red alert, i wonder, and what happens if a series of major aftershocks rock that region, entirely possible. france's nuclear watchdog today said the situation at fukushima is worse than three mile island. that was the 1979 meltdown in the united states at a plant in central pennsylvania, the worst nuclear accident in u.s. history, so far. no one was injured at three mile island, and no one died, but the situation was considered so serious at the time that the u.s. nuclear regulatory committee ramped up safety
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regulations and we've got growing demand for energy in this country and nuclear power has been poised to make sort of a comeback of late. in the past few years a handful of power companies have applied for permits to build new nuclear power plants. republican congressman devon w nunes called for a bill to construct 200 new nuclear reactors by 2040 and president obama touted nuclear power saying it may be part of the solution to the energy and global warming issues facing the united states. it all sounded pretty good, until last friday in japan. now you can bet approval for any new nuclear construction is going to be pretty tough to come by. whether the world is running out of oil or not. here's the question. should the japan earthquake stop any future construction of nuclear power plants? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog.
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>> would you want one, jack, built in your backyard? >> this is one in our backyard, indian point is about 12 miles up the hudson river from the northern part of manhattan. it's been there for years and years and years, and, you know, fortunately so far wows incident but there's one very close by and just to the west of us in pennsylvania there's a whole cluster of them in the eastern part of that state, and i understand it the prevailing winds tend to blow from west to east. we haven't had any problems. france has been very successful with this energy source, but mother nature's got a way of, you know, pitching curveballs at the human race that we are simply unable to deal with sometimes. >> yeah, and not only are they frayed of another large aftershocks which could be disastrous and that could trigger another tsunami and god knows what the fallout from that would be. still a lot of worst case
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scenarios that folks in japan are worried about and folks all over the world with worried about it. jack, thanks very much. a lot of people are wondering could this happen in the united states. i know i'm worried about that, but go ahead and tell us what you've got. >> yeah, absolutely. jack made that point that mother nature has a way of throwing curveballs and japan's nuclear crisis is indeed raising that very question about nuclear power plants in the united states. a plant that you're at is on a fault line which could leave it exposed to the eventuality of an earthquake. as you talk to folks there, what do they say about the level of preparedness for that kind of disaster? >> absolutely. the san onofre power plant is capable enough to power 1.2 million homes. clearly as can you see behind me it's on the beach in southern california, so it's clearly
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vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. earlier we went down to the beach to take a closer look. when the san onofre nuclear power plant was built officials decided that the largest tsunami that could happen here was 25 feet so they built a wall 30 feet above sea level and it was also targeted to withstand 57.0 earthquake but what happens if those estimates are wrong? the man who can answer that question joins me now. he is pete dietrich, chief nuclear officer here at the power plant. what is to stop from what happened in japan happening here in southern california? >> i think the first thing i would like to say is on behalf of the all the employees in the nuclear power edison, san onofre nuclear generating station, you're thoughts and prayers and support goes out to the people in japan, all those working with
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the difficult decision to deal in japan. to answer your questions, a little premature and we understand facts and information coming from japan. you know, the japanese are dealing with a very difficult situation and their first priority is not necessarily to provide us information but from what we do understand in japan, the current san onofre design is equipped to experience a higher magnitude than was experienced and down on the ocean front there's a 30-foot reinforced tsunami wall designed to withstand the appropriate and associated tsunami associated with the maximum credible earthquake. >> my understanding it's designed to withstand an earthquake ever 7.0 which is on the nearest fault to here but the san andreas fault is capable of producing something in the neighborhood of 6.4. >> we usually use the richter
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scale san onofre is designed to withstand the earthquake do you to the peak ground acceleration at the planned and we've been designed to withstand .67 g and the japanese earthquake was a .375 peak at the epicenter of the earthquake. >> thanks for joining us. have to leave it there. can you still hear lots of concern here in southern california despite the fact that the officials here that this plant is safe. just at a time when nuclear power was beginning to get more traction as a possible alternative to oil. this incident happened in japan, this disaster happened in japan creating a lot of new concerns here. >> absolutely. no doubt about it, casey. many, many questions to be considered in the weeks ahead. casey wian, appreciate it. wolf, a lot to be learned
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from what has happened in japan over the course of the last couple of days. many looking at it very, very closely. wolf? >> you know, if casey is still there, casey, can you still hear me over there, casey wian in california? >> reporter: yes, i've got you, wolf. >> all right. if you -- because what -- what your guest said doesn't seem to mike any sense. this was an 8.9 or a 9.0 earthquake in japan, and -- and the reactor, the facility where you are can withstand a 7.0. why does he say that -- that it can withstand a 9.0 or an 8.9. i don't understand what he's talking about. >> reporter: if you could give us a little clarification why you're saying this facility could withstand something as high as a 9.0 when it was built for something much less. >> again, the design of commercial nuclear power plants in most seismic analysis is done
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around a peak ground acceleration measurement and that measurement for san onofre is 4.67 gs which would equate to a 7.0 earthquake at an epicenter five miles from here which is our nearest fault line. traditional analysis around the peak ground acceleration and that is what we design our structures to be able to withstand. that's how you size and put the strength into your mechanical supports and other things that we retrain and protect our equipment with. >> reporter: are you 100 confident that this plant could withstand something the size of what happened in japan? >> it's a little premature. as we understand the facts and circumstances coming out of japan, yes, we do. >> reporter: there you have it, wolf. >> i think a lot of people, casey, are going to dispute your guest. this is an 8.9 or 9.0 and he's talking about something in the 7s, and i'm no expert on this, but it just pass the smell test
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to me but we continue to check his facts. see if he's got them or just spinning you're viewers. done the surface it doesn't make much since. casey wynan in california. the quake and tsunami are already impacting jap's major economy and it could seen get a whole lot worse and we'll take you inside the sendai shelter and some people right now are smiling. much more of the breaking news coverage coming out of japan right after this. wrench? wrench.
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the pictures are dramatic, and they are so sad. rescue operations continuing even as we speak right now. folks trying to get out. there are survivors who have been stuck. there are search-and-rescue teams that have come in, not only from japan, but from all over the world. isha, there are people who will survive, but as you and all of our viewers by now know, there are so many, so many thousands of people who simply have not survived this earthquake but especially the tsunami. >> absolutely, wolf. thousands of people remain unaccounted for. the numbers right now stand at 19 hundred dead, over 3,000
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missing, but we feel that those are very, very preliminary numbers, that they will indeed shift and move higher. brian todd flew out of the united states with a rescue team with fairfax county in virginia and flew to japan to be part of the search-and-rescue and joins us now with a report from an effort earlier on from japan. >> reporter: these teams are eager to get to their destination, it's ofonoto, on the coast, very badly hit by the earthquake and tsunami. frustration on everybody's part here because they want to get down here and working as fast as they can to get down there. a lot of hire up and wait where they are pulling together all of the equipment and all the other gear, the canine teams and inflatable boats. everything has to be loaded on to palettes. some of it getting by air and some definitely going in a convoy that we're going to go
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in. we're eager to get there and this guys, from the l.a. team right here, just got their briefing. the fairfax team is getting their briefing. looks like ofonoto is one area in need today. tom griffin is with me. tom, show me how long this thing can extend. >> extends out about seven feet. typically drill a hole or using a existing void hole to access a victim. the camera head has a light in it which we can adjust the brightness of. has also a microphone and a speaker in it so we can speak to the victim and hear them. it gives us the ability to do actually and visually view the person so we know exactly where to start digging. >> after a very long drive from the air base, we're now on the outskirts of ofonoto japan, seven hours trying to get here and we have to stop here for at least seven hours because the japanese government does not
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want the teams town load all of their gear and start the base camp tonight, concerned about the danger of pushing into the city and setting up camp in the total darkness so the teams have to stay here on the outskirts for the hex several hours and can't unload haul of their greer. a bit of a frustration because they wanted to get on the ground sooner than that. but the time they set up the base camp and fan out it will be almost 90 hours since the earthquake struck. a real frustration for these teams. brian todd, just outside ofonano, japan. >> thanks very much. this disaster in japan could pose a massive, massive threat to the country's global economic standing. cnn's mary snow is picking up that part of the story. the economic fallout is very significant. mary? >> reporter: it is, and japan is already acting pumping $180 billion into its banks to ensure the financial system has enough cash, but winding the worry over
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the third largest economy in the world is the question of what will happen with japan's nuclear reactors. not only is there the obvious main concern about whether this will be another chernobyl-type situation but out of hitting the electrical grid, we've seen automakers and electronics companies halting production and not just because plants have been damaged. toshi toshiba, for example is cutting back and cutting power consumption in response to the earthquake. car-makers are also keeping some plants shut to conserve energy. marcus nolan from the peterson institute says the severity of the damage depends on whether the outages are controlled or not. >> what we learned after 9/11 was even very severe economic shocks to a local reg on-the-can't bring down a national economy unless they affect a networks and so if the network is severely disrupted and power shortages are propagated throughout the country, then it could have a
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much more severe economic impact. >> and while it's impossible to know the exact of the damage, one firm that calculates the cost of catastrophes, estimates the cost from the earthquake and tsunami to be around $100 billion. broken down into $20 billion in damages to homes and $0 billion to infrastructure. and mark zandi, the sdeef commit at moody's an littics who has been on this program many times says he'll believe japan will suffer mother round of recession. mary? >> if japan does go through another large recession, what about the impact on the global economy? >> a big worry and impossible to say right now, but some economists we did speak with say they believe that japan will recover quickly and that they also believe the country will spend whatever is necessary to recover, despite the fact that
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japan, its debt is twice the size of the gdp. wolf? >> mary snow with that part of the story, thanks, mary, very much. >> a big international effort under way to help the people in japan. the u.s. military is there and crews are in japan to help and some sailors are the ones that needed help as they cruise through a cloud of trouble. plus, cnn's anderson cooper is in the quake zone right now and is standing by live with the latest on what he's seeing. stay with us. we wiped the slate clean. then we created a powerful, refined and aerodynamic design destined to shape our future. the jaguar xj. automobile magazine's 2011 design of the year.
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well, japan is asking the united states for more help with its nuclear emergency. another reactor, the fukushima daiichi plant, lost its ability to cool down today. this just hours after an explosion rocked the building, housing another reactor. 11 people were injured in the blast, and radiation levels, well, those spiked. japanese officials say there wasn't a massive leak, and u.n. nuclear watchdogs say there's no sign of an actual reactor meltdown so far.
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french nuclear safety experts are now describing this crisis as worse than the most serious nuclear power plant accident right here in the united states. the partial meltdown at the three mile island plant in pennsylvania in 1979. wolf, i know that you're going to have a guest that you'll put some of these tough questions about this nuclear crisis to. >> yes, isha. in fact, joining us now is the president and ceo of the national energy institute which lobbies for the nuclear power industry. thanks very much for joining us. are nuclear power plants in the united states right now, and there are around 100 that are operating even though no new ones have been built for 30 years, are they capable of withstanding an 8.9 magnitude earthquake? >> well, wolf, we have 102 plants operating in our country right now producing 20% of our electricity, and they have all been designed and licensed by
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the nrc to be able to withstand an earthquake that's appropriate to their location, more so maybe on the west coast with a higher seismic factor and less so on the earthquake, so they have all been licensed and designed to be able to withstand an earthquake and a tsunami that would be likely associated with that earthquake. >> so all the -- all the reactors on the west coast, are you saying that they could withstand an 8.9 magnitude earthquake? >> no, what i'm saying they could withstand the earthquake that would be appropriate for where they are located on the west coast, so, for instance, i think earlier today -- >> is an 8.9 -- is an 8.9 -- is an 8.9 possible on the west coast? >> i don't know if 8.9 is possible, but what they are designed for are ground motions that are very significant because you don't design for a richter scale number. you design for the ground acceleration that shakes the
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building. and to be honest, what we know right now -- about the ground acceleration for the 8.9 earthquake that occurred in japan. our understanding is that it was .350 gs and the designs for the west coast plants exceed that by a significant amount. >> right now it looks like the folks in japan, the experts in japan, are really in unchartered territory. they are doing all sorts of things to prevent a meltdown and a nuclear crisis, including using sea water and other devices which aren't normal operating procedures. is that your understanding as well? >> well, they are certainly outside of their design basins and certainly being very innovative and working very hard and our support and our prayers go with them as these people are really trying to do everything they k.fundamentally right now, and fortunately, the containment structure is still working fine, as is the primary system, so there are no major releases of
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radiation occurring, though what they are doing is very, very innovative to try to keep the core cool. >> because they always built these reactors to withstand an earthquake, but i'm not sure, at least in japan, they expected a tsunami of this magnitude to cause the kind of damage that it's clearly caused to these nuclear power plants. >> i think clearly, wolf, that's one of the lessons learned that's going to come out of this because the plant did handle the earthquake quite well. the diesels worked after the earthquake. it was after the tsunami that they ran into a lot of trouble. >> could this kind of meltdown happen -- we know it happened at three mile island. we know what happened at chernobyl, but the question is a lot of folks are asking could this happen again in the united states? >> well, you know, i wouldn't talk chernobyl because it was a very different reactor, but three mile island we melted half the fuel, and the cost arrest to the systems worked correctly. no health effects, no major
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releases of radiation and, for instance, we've really improved safety after that by the lessons learned. can you -- can you have accidents that melt fuel? obviously we saw that at three mile island. >> thanks very much for joining us, the president of the nuclear energy institute. shelters are popping up throughout the sendai region right now. we're taking you to one where despite the tragedy some people are smiling. plus, wiped out. an entire town flattened by the tsunami. we' we're going back for a first look at the damage. [ male announcer ] myron needed an mba to turn his technology into a business. so he chose a university where the faculty average over 14 years of experience in their fields to help him turn a thesis into a business plan and accelerate the path between ideas... and actions. my name is myron sullivan,
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you're gonna retire. and we're gonna help. retirement answers at td ameritrade. where millions of people trust their retirement investments. new video coming into "the situation room" right now from japan. take a look at this. images that are just horrific. this video just coming in right now. can you see the horrendous, horrendous disaster that's unfolded. there are whole parts of japan where rescue workers still can't even get close to because of this disaster. whole villages have been wiped out and thousands of people remain unaccounted for. this is a disaster of epic proportions in japan, and as we get more and more information, isha, it looks like it's only, only going to get worse. >> yeah, no doubt about it, and, wolf, almost half a million people actually living in
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shelters there in japan right now. here's cnn's kyung lah with more from sendai. >> reporter: in a tsunami disaster this massive mari sato is learning that the small gestures matter the most. food and water, she says, from someone she barely knows. sato lost everything in the tsunami that hit sendai. she learned from these before and after satellite images of the newspaper that her home was destroyed. >> translator: i never imagined a tsunami could do this, she says, saying she lives inland about two miles from the ocean. she is one of the hundreds of new residents of this elementary school. this is the youngest, only 3 weeks old. her father says he's numb and can't seem to put her down ever since he and his wife fled from the debris that flattened their
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town. i have to protect my children, says this new dad. the only thing i can think, i have to protect my children. children blissfully unable to understand, others clearly do. there are so many victims in this tsunami. this is just one converted classroom in this school. to my right, very elderly people and to my left, a child, all awaiting word on the status of their homes and families, all of the missing. they say it's impossible to think beyond this immediate emergency. the most pressing, locating the missing. a message board is filled with calls for help to find relatives. i can't find them, says this man. the tsunami has hit all of sendai in some way. stores still damaged and without power are selling what they can. you can see the need for yourself as a line wraps around the building. needed most, water, tea and canned food. today only ten items per family.
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what happens tomorrow and the day after that? what can we do says the mother of two young children. her husband adds at least we're all alive still. >> reporter: you feel lucky? >> lucky. >> reporter: back at the school two friends reunite by chance, rare tears of joy outshed though by those of grief. japan's growing humanitarian crisis. kyung lah, cnn, sendai, japan. >> search and rescue teams are fanned out across northern japan doing everything they can to find those who may have survive the catastrophe. we'll bring you the most dramatic moments when we come back. stay with "the situation room." ♪ ♪ one, two, three, four ♪ you say ♪ flip it over and replay ♪ we'll make everhing okay
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and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan. you'll get this free information kit... and guide to understanding medicare, to help you choose the plan that's right for you. as with all medicare supplement plans, you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare, get help paying for what medicare doesn't... and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. every day since the catastrophe in japan the images we've been seeing from the quake zone are breaking our hearts and taking our breath away. take a look at some of the latest pictures.
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>> oh, my god. holy [ bleep ] whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! oh, my god. we sometimes have to take some creative measures to illustrate what's going on.
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and this creative measure is being on a rescue boat, but these people have been trapped for more than three days in an office building. they're being rescued right now by members of the army. this couple, husband and wife for three days trapped in an office building, the flooded streets of this little town. he says he just wants to be in a safe place. what they're doing is rowing back and forth dozens of times picking up people trapped on the streets. >> heart breaking stories indeed. jack cafferty is asking, should the japan earthquake and the tsunami stop any future construction of nuclear power plants in the united states, indeed around the world. your e-mail coming up and live reports from the center of the disaster zone. our own anderson coop ser standing by to join us from sendai in japan.
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let's get right back to jack with the cafferty file. jack? >> the question this hour is should is the japan earthquake be reason enough to stop any future construction of nuclear power plants. robert writes from kansas, yes, but not necessarily for the obvious reason. before building additional nuke plants, we need first to be able to safely dispose of the spent fuel product. hiding it in tin cans and abandoned salt mine is not the answer. out of sight, out of mind won't work for the future inhabitants of this planet. tom writes no, not at all. if anything, this is a chance for us to learn how to make better, safer nuclear power plants. we learn from failure. this is something that can help prevent things like from happening in the future.
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dave in new york writes the reason your bs detector is on red alert is because the captain of the aircraft carrier sent to japan to help took one look at the radiation levels of returning airplanes and got his boat out of there asap. the intelligent thing to do would be to stop the development of fission reactors and work on fusion reactors. they're safe and use abundant fuel, our sun is a giant fusion reactor. david writes no, it shouldn't but probably will. an interesting question came up on another forum about the terrible disasters as the three mile island and chernobyl. the question was, how many people died. the answer was zero at three mile island, 50 died as a direct result of chernoble. paul writes no, i don't think so. nuclear power has been around since the 1950s with plants located all over the world. outside chernobyl, there have been no major breaches or ca tatreau if i. how many oil spills have we had?
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it's the only viable efficient source of energy. renewable energy is still developing. it's not there yet and until it is, we can't do without nuclear power. jeremy says definitely shouldn't affect new construction of nuclear power plants. the odds of having issues such as japan is very slim just like japan's chances were. nuclear power is cleaner, more cost effective than coal burning powerhouses and puts a lot of people to work during and after construction. we got a lot of e-mail. go to my blog cnn.com/cafferty file. wolf? >> i'm getting a lot of e-mail on this as well, thanks very much. an american caught up in the earthquake nightmare desperate to talk with the family back in the united states. how a cnn crew actually helped out. stand by for that report.
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news. we're standing by for live reports from our own anderson cooper, gary tuchman and others on the ground in japan. our special coverage this hour, indeed aisha will be with us all week. i'm wolf blitzer in paris with secretary of state hillary clinton. you're in "the situation room." stricken by disaster overwhelmed with grief and shock, japan right now a country in crisis. more than three days after an earthquake and a tsunami of historic proportions struck, we're only beginning to realize the magnitude of what has really happened. we have extensive live coverage for you. let's begin with cnn's and nan core ren in the disaster zone in sendai in japan. anna, set the scene for us. what's the latest right now?
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be. >> well, as it stands at the moment, wolf, the death toll is just approaching 2,000, but government officials believe that that will rise well beyond 10,000. that is the harsh reality as the days continue and they find more and more bodies. more towns, more cities where houses have just been absolutely destroyed. house after house, street after street, neighborhood after neighborhood absolutely decimated. this tsunami hit the coast with a ten meter wave and it just came ashore collecting everything in its path. now, we spent time with people in these hard affected areas. one man in particular, he clung to his roof as the tsunami swept by. others say their neighbors just weren't so lucky. they saw them swept away. we spent time with a military team, wolf, and they were going from house to house and collecting the bodies. this is something that will
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continue over the coming days if not weeks. we also know that international help is finally arriving. a number of american teams have arrived with equipment and sniffer dogs. new zealand is sending a team, a team that was only in crist church last month going through the search and rescue operation for the city of crist church. we also know that britain is sending a team. this help it, wolf, is desperately needed. >> anna, i take it that there are still though whole areas of japan in the northeast where rescue workers have not even been able to get close, given the disaster and who knows what's going on in these areas. what can you tell us about this? s>> reporter: that's exactly right, wolf. i mean, we have only been able to get to one of the cities that was really hard hit. i mean, we are here in sendai
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down at the port. yes, there is a great deal of destruction. even further north, much further north and the hundreds of kilometers, this is a coastline that has been completely leveled, some five, eight kilometers in. it will take weeks if not months before they can actually access all these areas. so a huge job ahead. who knows if they'll ever know the death toll because so many of these people, they're finding bodies in houses or in rivers washed up on banks, so many of these bodies were also swept out to sea. so for the people who are missing their loved ones, they may never know where they are. >> are there still shortages, anna, of food and water and medicine or is the relief operation succeeding?
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s>> reporter: as it stands at te moment, wolf, there is a severe shortage of food and water and fuel. this is something that is really gripping the city of sendai here. and further north, there is just no power, no water. so it's extremely tough for these people who have survived the quake and the tsunami to try and pick up the pieces. we know that the government is trying to get these services back up and running, but at the moment, wolf, we are seriously in short supply of all those things. >> anna coren is on the scene for us in sendai. later this hour, we're going to be sharing with viewers how they can help. i'm getting tons of tweets, a lot of e-mails from viewers all over the world. they want to help. we're going to give them information what they can do right now because folks just want to help these people in japan. >> indeed, wolf. this is a complicated situation on the ground in japan because
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this is a multilayered crisis. we're dealing with the issue of search and recovery, search and rescue. but japan is also dealing with the fear of a possible nuclear disaster. with the second explosion at a stricken power plant that has taken place. let's bring in cnn's tom foreman following the breaking news for us. >> all eyes are on the fukushima daiichi plants up here. this is the one that everyone's concerned about. you mentioned these explosions. this is the first one, a hydrogen explosion inside one of the buildings containing one of these reactors up here. the issue, take another look from above, a satellite image, you can see that's how much damage was done to that facility with that explosion. the issue here has been a series of failures. this is the reactor. these are the rods of our rainiam inside. when the earthquake hit it, these control rods rose. they absorbed neutrons between the uranium rods and they slow
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down the process of reaction here. it doesn't stop it entirely but it slows it down a good bit. there's still heat being given off. this is the way it would normally work. you have pumps putting water into it. that goes through it, carries the heat away. steam is released. but that failed. so a backup system came in. they starred pumping in water from another source from a generator, but the talk about power and fuel, this failed. we're not entirely sure why. may have had something to do with the tsunami. so they went to i an third system to try to bring extra cooling in. that has also had problems. as a rut, the heat has copied to build. that's been partially related to the explosions we've seen there. all of these systems are backup systems theoretically going to keep it from reaching this point. now for this particular reactor as the heat copied to build, they started pumping in sea water from below to try to keep this cooled down. that has been relative success.
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it's been good at times, at other times they've had the water level drop and had them exposed and the heat has been building up. the whole issue here is you have a bidup of steam which you have to release in some fashion. that will automatically release some sort of radioactivity into the environment. is the question is how much, does it pose a real threat. right now they're saying pretty much not. but if they can't get this heating under control, if this goes further, then you start looking at a meltdown. there's talk already there's some degree of a meltdown happening inside. it doesn't seem like anyone really knows what's happening inside this unit. but if these rods start melting, they move up to around 2200 degrees with the heat they produce. uranium rods melt at about 2100. the concern is that eventually they could collapse entirely and if the containment building fails as the backup systems have faced, then you could have a
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catastrophic release. that's what everyone's hoping against right now. >> tom, we appreciate it. and wolf, that's the thing that many people are still looking to see what has happened inside the reactor itself. talk of a partial melt. the fears of a complete meltdown, of course. right now we just don't know. wolf? >> so many failsafe systems that apparently did not work given the magnitude of the earthquake and the tsunami. stand by for a moment. i want to dig deeper with clinter jim walsh, an expert, a real expert in the international security, a research associate at the massachusetts institute of tool, security studies program. we're seeing, jim, this dramatic stuff happening, the meltdown potentially, a worse case scenario, the core overheating, all of this going on. there were a lot of safeguards in all of the nuclear facilities in japan. but apparently, they failed given the magnitude of the
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tsunami and the earthquake. if someone would have asked the experts in japan a week ago, could they sustain any realistic earthquake and sooup, i'm sure they probably would have said yes. apparently they haven't. >> yeah, that's right. there are several things going on i think. one is they weren't expecting this particular severity of event. this was a plant that was built to withstand a 7 point something earthquake but not an 8.9 earthquake. but the irony is that the reactor as far as we know and we don't know yet, more or less survived. right? it shutdown. didn't collapse. the seelz heel wkooels achilles was the cooling. it copied to run hot. if you turn an oven off, it continues to be hot. they had failure after failure because of the tsunami in the cooling system. now they've been forced to the
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worst possible choice of pouring raw sea water into that plant. we don't have a lot of experience doing this. it certainly doesn't happen to three different plants in a row in three days in a row compounded by hydrogen explosions that have done presumably some damage to the buildings, if not the reactor core. so i think you can prepare for events but sometimes events that have a low probability still happen. that's what's happening here. and then have you interaction effects. like people taking different drugs. you have a tsunami and an earthquake and a breakdown and other things all going together at once. that's something those interaction effects are not things people could have predicted. >> we know with the best case scenario that everything, would out and there's no radiation and everyone is fine. we know what the worst case scenario is, but here's the question. what are the chances of that worst case scenario unfolding,
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based on what we know right now? >> we, i think we have to be honest and say no one can answer that question. i don't think the government knows. i don't think the utility knows. because you know, it all depends, the worst case scenario depends on this containment vessel. feet and feet of concrete with reinforced steel that is surrounding the reactor core. but it's been there for 40 plus years absorbing radiation. has it gotten brittle? has it changed? has it cracked? are there problems? no one knows the answer to that question. we don't want to test that. we don't want to test the proposition of if the worst case scenario happens, will the containment vessel hold. now, i'm still going to say, i'm going to continue to say even though in the absence of certainty that i think it's more unlikely than likely that we're going to face the the worst case scenario. i don't think we're going to face it. but i also think there are a bunch of other issues out there that we're probably not paying attention to that may crop up and we'll be looking at a week later, two weeks later, a month
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later. i don't expect the worst. the worst rarely happens. i don't expect the worst. there are other things that are probably pretty bad. >> very bad. it's indicative the fact they have to improvise with all these efforts they're doing right now. they've gone outside their playbook to deal with this crisis underscores how serious the crisis is right now. jim, we'll stay in close touch with you. jim walsh, national security contributor. thanks very much. there's a lot more we're looking at this hour. >> anderson cooper is on the ground there in japan. we're standing by for a live report from him this hour. plus, chilling new images of the tsunami disaster as it happened. residents watching as their towns swallowed by the sea. osteoporosis treatment-- no big deal. so i have to wait up to an hour just to eat or drink. i've got time to kill. yeah right! i'm a working woman. and i'm busy.
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want to show you these images just copping into us here at "the situation room." pictures coming to us from miyagi prefecture in northern japan where a fire has been burning. we're trying to establish the state of the situation right now. but at least within the last several hours, you see those intense flames that are burning in that vicinity. the miyagi prefecture a place where thousands of bodies have been discovered. result of that the earthquake and that tsunami that struck off
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the coast of japan on friday. now we are getting these dramatic images of a fire of flames burning with abandon there coming to us virtue of tvasaeh at "the situation room." we're trying to establish exactly the circumstances surrounding it, exactly the vicinity that those flames are burning. as you see dramatic images coming in to us, really just adding to the sense of confusion and the devastation playing out in japan right now as millions of people try and recover from this devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck on friday. we're going to continue to follow the situation. people are on the ground there. we have teams all over japan. we are digging deeper to get more information on the situation. wolf, i want to toss it to you there in paris. dramatic images coming in to us of flames burning as if the people of japan haven't dealt with enough. we're trying to find out exactly
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what's going on. these images coming via tv sashi. >> this is is the worst catastrophe to hit japan since world war ii. much more coming up. i want to check in with jack cafferty right now. he's got the cafferty file. >> remember libya? secretary of state hillary clinton is in paris today. that's the reason actually that wolf is in paris meeting with other foreign ministers from the g-8 to discuss strategy in libya. she's also meeting with the libyan rebel leaders. it's the first time the united states has made contact with moammar gadhafi's opposition since war broke out in libya last month. not course of action though has been decided as of yet. over the weekend, the arab league called for a no-fly zone. france called for a no-fly zone last week. the white house applauded the idea of a no-fly zone. it was a topic of conversation at the united nations today. a no-fly zone. talk, talk, talk.
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no action. meanwhile, libya's civil war continues even as international attention to the rebels' cause has been diverted by the tragedy in japan. various reports say the opposition forces are now losing their grip on cities like benghazi and al brega. for the first time since the revolt began, the rebels refused to allow reporters to go with them out of fear news coverage could provide intelligence to gadhafi's forces. a sign of growing frustration on the part of the opposition. the rest of the world simply watching and talking. and doing nothing. and gadhafi's forces are now gaining the upper hand. if and when they win this thing, the vengeance gadhafi will extract, well, think about it. here's the question. is it becoming too late for the rest of the world to help the rebels in libya? post a comment on my blog. wolf? >> jack, thanks very much. we're also watching events unfold in the persian gulf
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kingdom of bahrain. a key u.s. ally. coalition troops and armored vehicles rolled into the oil rich bahrain area from neighboring saudi arabia today. they say they were asked in by bahrain's own government to keep the peace and restore some security after months of protests against the monarchy and violent clashes there. they're being deployed by an alliance of six gulf states including some 500 troops from the united arab emirates. the secretary of state hillary clinton is here in paris. she met with the foreign minister of the uae. they discussed this. hillary clinton now meeting with opposition groups from libya, as well. we'll have a full report on what, if anything, was accomplished. she's getting ready to head off to cairo and tunisia tomorrow. we'll stay on top of this story for our viewers. but much more on what's happening in japan right now. japan truly global in scope. people from all over the world are finding themselves caught up
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in the crisis in japan. we'll update you on what we know. we'll also hear from one american teacher who survived when his car was tossed around by the earthquake. much more of the breaking news coming up from japan. right here in "the situation room." ♪ [ male announcer ] unrestrained. right here in "the situation ♪ introducing the most fuel-efficient luxury car available. ♪ the radically new, 42 mile per gallon ct hybrid from lexus. ♪ welcome to the darker side of green.
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it's approaching 7:30 a.m.
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in japan, tuesday morning. we're just getting this new video in. keeps coming in. this courtesy of our affiliate nhk in japan. devastating. every place you look, you see the destruction, the devastation. it's almost unbelievable apocalyptic i think is a word that is fair to use in describing what has happened in the northeastern part of japan. there are still whole areas where rescue workers, military forces have not even been able to get close. we can only imagine what's going on there as they get closer and closer to the epicenter and to the devastation caused by this enormous tsunami. the more you look at these pictures, atia, the for frustrated and angry you get about what has happened. >> as you look at the pictures, you get a real sense of the ferocity of this earthquake. it measured 8.9. you see the destruction and how everything is reduced to
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effectively rubble. things have been decimated. cars tossed in amongst houses. you know, you don't know the where roads end and begin. you do see the ferocity and the force of nature as you look at those pictures. you know, wolf, hundreds of americans are among those struggling to recover there in japan. cnn's paula hancocks talks to one of them. >> yeah, it's steve. >> this is the first time steve has spoken to his mother since friday's earthquake and tsunami. he's had no mobile reception so we lent him ours. >> well, i'm okay. and most of my foreign friends are okay. >> barrett has been teaching english in the japanese city for almost two years. after surviving friday as disaster, he says he wants to leave. >> i was in my car. i think my car left the ground. there was a hotel in front of me. it looked like it was going to fall down, like 15-story hotel.
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people could not stand up. they ran and fell into the parking lot. barrett and another teacher have been at the hospital looking for friends and trying to compile a list of who's safe. inside the hospital is packed with earthquake and tsunami victims. more than 2,000 have come through these doors. red cross officials tell cc even though doctors are working around the clock, the government has not supplied them with enough food and water. outside, a brief moment of joy with a surprise reunion. this school down the road is now an evacuation center. barrett is just one of more than 1,000 guests. it's basic and it's cold, but it is shelter and there's food and water here for those who have lost everything. and as so often seen after natural disasters, the makeshift database of who's staying scoured over by people traveling from shelter to shelter looking for loved ones. barrett is just relieved he's
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now finally been able to tell his family he survived. >> you have no idea how nice it is to hear your voice. >> paula hancocks, cnn, ishinomakky, japan. >> the quake itself has been updated from 8.9 to 9.0. we're getting that in the last few moments. we're standing by for live reports from anderson cooper and gary tuchman with the very latest developments. [ male announcer ] nature valley sweet & salty nut bars...
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hit areas of northeastern japan. anderson, where are you right now and what are you seeing? >> we, i'm in the port of asendai. i'm standing outside some sort of a factor in the port. and literally surrounded by cars. they're actually trucks filled with cars, trucks that were moving vehicles that have just been tossed around. there's about four or five of them. one of them is wrapped around a lamp post. i've never seen anything like it. one of the surreal things you
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see here. it's like this block after block throughout sendai and all of northeastern japan. the dale toll copies to rise as they continue to find more bodies. we were in a debris field in a village about half an hour north of here. and i mean, it is -- you know, it's hard to describe devastation and it certainly compares to things we've seen elsewhere. but it just goes on as far as the eye can see and a lot of these places vehicles mixed with houses mixed with personal possessions and often the debris fees are so thick, wolf, that you can't even walk through them or really search them without heavy earth moving equipment because if there's a debris field ten feet thick, have you no idea what's at the bottom of it. often there is still water in some of these areas. it used to be a rice field and now looks like it's a debris field.
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all of that is a debris which the tsunami deposited and left it all there. we've also seen people continuing to try to get in touch with loved ones. the japanese military along with search and rescue teams from around the world have been pouring into this area, but it is very slow going. here's some of what we saw over the last couple hours. >> each day you see more and more search and rescue teams, these are from the japanese defense forces, the japanese military, tens of thousands have been deployed. they're obviously teams coming from around the world to help in the certainly and rescue. au team like this basically goes, walks down the street. checking cars. checking behind abandoned buildings, behind things that have been destroyed. this is a disaster message board. you see them in city halls and government offices. and towns all along the
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northeast of japan right now. basically with cell phone services down or spotty at best, people are separated obviously from their family members, from their cell phones. they can't get in touch with each other and leave messages, for instance, this is a message left for mr. kanida. says she's alive and gives the ideas where she's staying so he can get in touch with her. right now, this is the best way people have to communicate. >> what's so remarkable though, wolf is, just how calm people are here. obviously, they're extremely overwhelmed. there's huge apartments of emotion. but publicly, people are very -- are very calm, often standing in line for hours at a time for water that sometimes runs out. i was at a water distribution point a couple hours ago. people have been waiting for more than an hour. the water truck ran out of water
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and the government official made the announcement and people were very accepting of it, and just continued to stand in line. luckily they were able to bring in a few more liters of water and give it out to some other people. other people went away empty handed. there's a sense of everybody in it together and people maintaining order, maintaining calm and just trying to do the best they can, wolf. >> and do they have the supplies they need, the food, the water, the medicine in i've been getting conflicting reports although some very disturbing reports that people are getting increasingly desperate. >> well, look, i haven't seen acts of desperation we've seen in other disasters. you know, i haven't seen looting or anything like that. stores are shut down in places like sendai or any of these towns along the northeast. all the 7-elevens seem to be shut down. some supermarks are open but
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they only allow a few people in at a time and limit how many items people can purchase. if you don't have cash, that's a real problem. there are more than 400,000 people in shelters right now all throughout the region. they, of course, are receiving food and water and supplies. but in a lot of places, it is, you know, it's kind of tricky. finding gas is very, very difficult for anybody who has a vehicle that still, would. there's long, long lines with a few gas stations that are still open. we're seeing water. you get three liter of water a day. in the town i was in earlier today. and again, that water is in short supply for a town of 60,000 people, there were only two small water trucks. so they clearly need more supplies. they need to bring stuff up from tokyo and elsewhere. at this point, we haven't seen situations of anyone looting or anything like that which i've seen in places in the past. and again, i'm just overwhelmed
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by the kind of the sense people have here of just doing the best they can and everybody kind of in this together and pooling their resources and just trying to make it through. >> very impressive the way the japanese are dealing with this. on top of everything else beyond the basic needs for food and water and medicine, you've got a potential nuclear problem, as well. your anecdotal casual conversations with japanese in sendai and elsewhere in the northeast, how often do they refer to the problems coming out of these nuclear power plants? >> reporter: you know, people don't really refer to it very much. i mean, there's not much you can do about it once you're on ground. i mean, you can worry about it obviously and i think everybody does. you know, i can tell you all of us covering it, it's certainly a great concern. but you don't hear people -- there's not hysteria. things again are just very calm.
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>> i think we lost our connection with anderson. but we're going to check back with him. anderson is going to be live 10:00 p.m. eastern later tonight, gary tuchman, soledad o'brien, sanjay gupta will all be with anderson, a special ac "360" live from japan tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern, 7:00 pacific only only here on cnn. japan's army is trying to rescue survivors and a new report from gary tuchman here in "the situation room." that's coming up next. ] opportunity is a powerful force. set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another... and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere.
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right inside japan's vast disaster zone. cnn's gary tuchman is on the ground in one devastated city. >> the town in japan is by the sea, but is also now part of the sea. much of ishinmaki is underwater because of the tsunami. many have died here but hundreds have been marooned. now help is arriving. we're with members of the army right now trying to rescue these people. we see a woman waving from her apartment window. she's desperate for drinking water. to our surprise, doesn't want to evacuate her home. so we move on. but most other people are very anxious and grateful to go.
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for more than three days residents have lived inside this office building surrounded by the tsunami waters. this is the pickup point for rescue. inside the building, tired and frightened people await their turn for their boat ride out. there is no cell service. so they don't know how their loved ones are doing and their loved ones don't know about them. this woman doesn't know what happened to her parents. >> how scary has this been for you? >> oh, i had no word. so scared. we had panicked. >> you were panicked. >> panicked very much. >> more boats are brought in so the pace of rescues can be quickened. the ride is ten minutes long. most of these people were not aware how devastating the tsunami has been. i asked this man what's going through his mind. he tells me he just wants to go to a safe place. this soldier is one of dozens
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spending the day rowing. he says he knows the task is important. but the situation is emotionally difficult. after they reach dry lan, some of those rescued are taken to the hospital. most of the others are able to walk off. but often without knowing where to go. after all, their hometown is underwater. >> gary tuchman joins us on the line now. gary, describe for viewers where are you and what you're seeing. >> right now we're in sendai, japan, the largest city in the region. it's important to stress, sendai is a huge city. more than a million people live here. huge sky scrape ares. most of the city is just fine. you would think nothing happened in the main part of the city. it's by the shore. that's what our viewers need to know. the damage is unbelievable. but it's limed to two or three miles from the beach. when you get further inland, there's almost no damage
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whatsoever. >> these two or three miles that have seen the utter devastation, what's your sense about the need of those that are carrying out the search and rescue operation? do they need heavy earth moving equipment? what's your sense about the feeling whether people were drowned or trapped beneath the rubble. >> this is a lot different than haiti. haiti still needs earth moving equipment. no question about it miraculous stories of people rescued under the rubble. here that's not the case people for the most part did not die from the earthquake. they died from the tsunami swept out to sea. we haven't had any cases of people trapped in the rubble crying for rescue that hasn't happened. it's good to have the earth moving equipment but if viewers are wondering are there people still trapped who need to be rescued, that's a very low likelihood at this point. >> gary tuchman from sendai in
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northeastern japan. wolf, you hear what gary's saying there. it's a very different situation to what happened in haiti, a situation our viewers are very familiar with. here in these coastal areas, the fear is people were dragged out to sea and drowned. wolf? >> yeah, it's horrible. as often as you think you've seen the worst pictures coming in still photographs, video, all of a sudden, more come in. and we're just getting some new images atia. i think our viewers here will want to see this and around the world. the wall of water that engulfed japan's northeast coast. we have the tsunami video you probably haven't seen yet. we'll share it with you when we come back. plus the agony thousands of families are facing as they wait for word of missing loved ones. ♪ announcer: what does it take to fly?
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may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers who take certain other medicines should talk to their doctor because serious stomach problems such as bleeding may worsen. people with certain heart conditions may experience slow heart rate. [ woman ] whenever i needed her, she was there for me. now i'm here for her. [ female announcer ] ask the doctor about your loved one trying the exelon patch. visit exelonpatch.com to learn more. levels now in japan are also affecting u.s. military relief operations in the region and they are forsythia. our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence has that part of the story. >> reporter: a radio active cloud spewing from this nuclear plant contaminated at least 17 american troops. but even that hasn't stopped u.s. military efforts to help japan. on monday, a navy helicopter delivered more than 1500 pounds
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of food to survivors in sendai and the 7th fleet tweeted relief opposite have resumed north of sendai. watching winds closely and will move ships aircraft to avoid the wind line. the navy did have to reposition its ships and planes to avoid the radiation that contaminated the 17 crew members. they had flown through the cloud. and picked up low levels of radiation. mostly on their clothes but one had it on his skin. firms destroyed their uniforms, washed the troops down with soap and water and retested. at which point they all came up clean. helicopters have delivered blankets, water and food. the "uss tortuga picked up heavy lift cargo carriers in korea and it is steaming toward japan. when it arrives tuesday, the crew will take hundreds of japanese troops and their vehicles to the northern end of honshu. a global hawk can stay in the
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air all day and cover 100,000 kilometers giving the japanese a better look at the damage. combine that with air force search and rescue teams from okinawa who have arrived on the mainland to look for more survivors. >> we're prepared to recover anybody still stranded if there's any water that's butted up anywhere, that sort of thing. >> some of the ships, the helicopters have got sensor equipment that can measure radiation levels. it's something that the military is going to keep a close eye on over the next few days. the crew members who were exposed got about as much radiation as you would get from being out in the sun over a month. but they took it on in just a matter of hours. wolf? >> yeah, that's worrisome. chris, what, there are usually 30,000 or 40,000 u.s. troops based in japan at any one time. is that about right? >> that's right. they're coming in at least seven
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major warships are now there, including the "u.s.s. ronald reagan," the aircraft carrier. more and more are arriving. tomorrow, even more ships will be on site there. >> i know the ronald reagan battle group has 6,000 sailors and marines right there alone. so a lot more troops on the way. chris lawrence, our pentagon correspondent. atia, back to you. >> we want to show incredible video of the tsunami roaring ashore. it bore down on the town. watch and listen.
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>> buildings and homes of some 9,000 residents.
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u. all around the world, there are families right now frantic for word of their loved ones missing in the horrific disaster in japan. let's go to lisa sylvester. >> this is really a sad ordeal, thousands are missing in japan, the relatives and friends are using everything they can, facebook, twitter, posting pictures on bulletin boards, anything, really to find them and reconnect with them. 27-year-old jessica flemming has been seeching in sendai, japan. jessica's friends posted on facebook to check if she was okay. for three agonizing days, her home, joan green did not know she was alive until she received
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a text message. >> she's okay. >> reporter: but many still wait. families in japan search posters hoping to hear news from a loved one and on a special website set up by the international committee of the red cross, name after name of the missing are posted online. people are all around the world who were in japan when the earthquake and tsunami hit. >> one of the things we do is put people who have lost contact with their families in touch with each other and so when a disaster like that hits, the phone lines are down, people lose touch with their relatives very quickly and that's one service we provide. >> reporter: the tsunami left in its wake devastation and heart break. the official death count is nearly 2,000, but thousands more are missing. this woman goes back to her house on the offchance her husband is there.
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>> translator: he went back to work again because he was wor worried about the company and he did not come home until 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. >> now the international committee of the red cross has its remember site up where people abroad and in japan can post if they're trying to get a hold of someone. that website is www.familylinks.icrc.org. >> lisa, we appreciate it. thank you very much. very important information for people who are going through a very desperate time. lives of people, millions of people changed forever. >> our heart goes out to those people. these stories are so heart wrenching. thanks very much. john king by the way at the top of the hour is going to have a lot more, some more stories, survival stories coming up, stand by for that. we'll take a quick break. much more that. -- after this. and i try to learnwn invest, as much as i can about a company before i invest in it.
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let get right back to jack, he's got the cafferty file. >> is it time for the rest of the world to help the opposition forces in libya? lauren writes, yes, everyone talks about the u.s. and its failures of judgment in its interventions. but here was an instance when the world could have stepped up to rid itself of an evil dictator and the world brinked. the libyan loyalists obviously have enough firepower to defeat the untrained, disorganized rebels with or without a no fly zone. bobries, after all the huffing and puffing, it seems that the u.n. and the west will only move
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after tv shows 500,000 libyans massacres and the streets soaked in blood. they could have paralyzed this thug air force. bobby writes, give the u.s. navy 30 minutes, punch some holes in the military run ways and a few shots to destroy gadhafi's helicopters, then the playing field is levelled and the opposition has a chance. how about this, if the arab league wants it, let the u.n. security council use the arab league to enforce it. dave says i don't know, it's a terrible situation, but once again the world is waiting for the united states to intervene and if we do then they'll immediately criticize us for it. jerry writes, i don't think it's too late, jack, do you? let's talk about it for a while. if you want to read mo

tv
The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer
CNN March 14, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Japan 27, Us 26, Sendai 22, United States 13, U.s. 11, Libya 8, Cnn 7, Gary Tuchman 7, Paris 6, Anderson Cooper 6, Isha 4, Casey 4, Anna 4, U.n. 4, Clinton 4, Gadhafi 4, Barrett 4, Southern California 3, Pennsylvania 3, Atia 3
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